UPDATE: Thanks to all who attended the webinar on 8/25! The replay is available here. We will also drop the webinar recording on the Got Game University podcast at 8 a.m. on September 7! Thanks again to the Matrix Targets team for sponsoring the webinar!
We are putting together a classic ElkNut webinar for you to listen to this Friday titled “The Ride Up to Hunting Camp” webinar. Paul is going to walk you through key tips and tactics that he’d share with you if you were riding together up to hunting camp. Sign up here!
The webinar is this Friday, August 25 at 7 p.m. MT. Paul will also take questions, so come ready with the tough ones. See you there!
Since the most recent update to the ElkNut app on October 7, 2022, the below Q&A isn’t completely relevant any more. We’ve found a way to restore original content to one-time purchasers, and require a subscription only for new content added to the app. We appreciate everyone’s patience through this update process as we try to find the best approach going forward. The below information does help tell the story for all the change that we’ve experienced over the last few months, so we want to make sure it’s still accessible to review and consider.
We have received a lot of questions from our app users that we would like to answer for everyone. We are blessed to have an amazing customer base that has been patient with us as we’ve worked through challenges that have arisen along the way. Thank you for that. And now, to the Q&A.
“Why are you changing to a subscription model?”
I’ve spoken with many of you about this via email, text and phone over the last few days. This has been a decision we’ve wrestled with for a long time. The ElkNut app started as a passion project of ours way back in 2016 after I got my very first taste of archery elk hunting in September and first listened to the ElkNut, Paul Medel, on the Hunt Backcountry Podcast. I figured there had to be a good mobile app tool to teach me how to call elk, and when I didn’t locate any on the App Store, called up Paul and he agreed to give this idea a go. The team, Paul (elk calling expert), Dustin (app developer), Jack (videographer/editor), and Ryan (marketing/brother in law/hunting buddy), and myself (everything else), are trying to side hustle this thing all while working full time day jobs, taking care of our families and hunt with what little time we have left over. (Paul is, as many of you know, retired after a hard-working career in the construction industry doing masonry.) We’re just normal guys trying to keep up with the increasing cost in time and resources demanded by the ElkNut app.
For the last five years we have updated the ElkNut app and kept it current and functional without charging any additional fee beyond that one-time purchase price. Paul has also been very free with his time, providing free podcasts and seminars, and always taking a phone call or responding to an email from a fellow elk hunter.
Without making a change, the ElkNut app would have eventually run out of steam completely, falling behind upgraded phones and devices, stuck in neutral while everything else keeps moving. We made this change to a subscription model to avoid that, as it provides the resources to make regular updates, stay up to speed with technology and keep the content current and increasing.
(Along these lines, here’s a letter that Paul and I put together and sent out via email in early August).
“Why can’t we just go back to the old app?”
Bifurcating the ElkNut app into two apps was an idea that we considered. But in a time when we are trying to better balance the costs and demands of a growing app platform as a very small company, overseeing two ElkNut apps instead of one would have been counter to the reasons that prompted the change to a subscription model in the first place, as discussed above. Thus, we decided to push out the subscription update as a new version of the ElkNut app, which in effect did away with the old version. While the old version is no longer available, we’re confident you’ll love the updated version.
“What does the new version of the ElkNut app have that’s different from the old?”
For starters, we added 28 new videos that clarified or expanded upon elk sounds on the app or added new sequences or tactics. This is the biggest update in terms of content that we’ve ever made to the app.
Next, we redesigned the app to increase readability and visual appeal.
And lastly, we added a number of new features: (1) Got Game Tech user account that will better enable us to communicate with app users in the future. Not having basic contact information for app users like an email address (the App Store and Play Store don’t share that with us when you sign up) has been a real problem, underscored by the fact that many of you did not know the update was coming down the pipe. (2) Home Page, including a News Feed for updates from the team, and a Favorites menu for easy access to your favorite calls, sequences and tactics. (3) Downloads page that makes preparing the app for offline use much easier to manage. (4) Productspage to share exclusive offers made available to ElkNut app users; this is an area we hope to better leverage on behalf of our users in a way that also helps offset the annual app subscription cost. (5) #Elknutsuccess page to feature successful elk hunts by the ElkNut team and app users. (6) Web-based app version free to subscribers for desktop computer use.
“I’ve already paid to download the app when it was a one time purchase. Why do I have to pay again?”
Our team, myself and Paul included, have emphasized in the past that the app was to be a one time purchase app. That’s absolutely been said. However, for the reasons discussed above about not wanting the app to go unmaintained and not keep up with new phones and systems into the future, we have had to change our pricing model to maintain the ElkNut app and keep it current and usable into the future.
We do want to make sure we do right by those who bought the ElkNut app under the impression that it would never be a subscription app. That is why we are offering recent app purchasers a free year under the subscription and all other users who convert over a 50% off discount. If however, you do not feel that you have received adequate value from the ElkNut app for the $9.99 USD that you paid for it from your date of purchase until today, please contact me at email@example.com and we will get it worked out.
“Why release the update in the middle of September?”
Timing for this update was not good. It was not our plan to release mid-September. As some of you know, we released the web-based version (also a perk of the new update) on August 1, with plans of the Apple and Android mobile app releases to quickly follow. But the mobile app update took much more time to finish than anticipated, and we didn’t receive an approval from the App Store to release until midday on September 9. We discussed holding off on the app release, but ultimately decided to get it out there so our app users could use and implement the new content and features with some time left in the archery elk season. Thus, the Apple version released Saturday, September 10.
Our team has been answering emails phone calls and text messages from 6 am to 11 pm every day since then, and will be happy to continue to do so as long as needed to make sure app users can get up and running as soon as possible. I really appreciate your patience as we’ve worked through this update and dealt with some challenges with the App Store subscription approval along the way (more on that below).
“What was going on with the App Store the first four days?”
As stated above, we received approval to release the app on September 9. However, despite approving the app, and without any messaging of any kind, the App Store did not approve the subscription. Having received the green light on the app as a whole, we let ‘er rip at 6 am MT on September 10, and then found out that nothing happened when the subscription button was clicked. We were fortunate to have a technical workaround, but it absolutely complicated the app release. Fortunately, after four days of more work, lots of calls and emails, and sweating bullets, this issue has been resolved, and the subscription button on the Apple version is fully functional.
“What does the subscription cost?”
The annual subscription is $14.99 at full price, but is currently available to subscribe for $7.49. I’m not sure you can find many hamburgers that cost less than that.
“What if I bought the app recently?”
Anyone who has purchased the app between June 1, 2022 and September 9, 2022 is entitled to a free annual subscription. We’ll also honor this for any app purchase close to this time frame. You can claim this promotion here.
“When will the Android version be ready?”
We were ready to release the Android version on September 10 along with the Apple version until we realized there was an issue with the subscription button. Not knowing that it was an Apple-specific issue, we decided to hold off until we had that issue resolved. We have had on offline use bug that has come up recently, and so we’ve held off on the Android release until we’re 100% sure it’s functional. Given the timing with what’s left of the archery elk season, we’ll hold the Android release until October 1.
“A little heads up would have been nice, yeah?”
Prior to this update, which as discussed above gives us the ability to now collect email addresses from users for better communication, we did not have a reliable medium to contact customers.
The old version of the app did not have a reliable mechanism to send messages, but we tried by adding a link in the products section below each elk sound, sequence and tactic on the app announcing the impending update. We also emailed our mailing list, which was based on Paul’s email list when we started working together and our efforts at Got Game Tech over the years. It’s a decent list, but even if everyone on it were an ElkNut app user, which is not the case, it would only have reached about 30% of our app users. We also posted on social media and answered questions as they came up, but many of our app users are not on social media consistently enough to get the message. As a result, this update caught many of you by surprise, some of you in the mountains on hunts, or preparing to do so. We’re very sorry for that and hope we can leverage this new version of the app to better communicate with you.
“How do I get the app working again?”
If you are having trouble subscribing to the ElkNut app, here are some general suggestions to keep in mind.
1. You need to create a new account with Got Game Tech. This is not based on your Apple ID or Play Store email address. As a result, if you have not subscribed yet, you need to click on “Sign Up” rather than “Sign In” and enter your email address and choose your password.
2. If you have recently purchased the ElkNut app, here is the form you fill out to claim your free year. You will need to wait until you get an email back from us with instructions on how to apply your coupon code before continuing to subscribe. I’ve been trying diligently to stay on top of these and respond same day (usually within a couple of hours). If you have submitted the form and not received a reply in 24 hours, please check your junk/spam folder.
3. If you are not a new app user, and you sign up through the App Store for the subscription, you will automatically receive the $7.49 deal. If you instead register through Stripe, which is what we had to do when the App Store subscription button was down, you can use the code ELKNUTOG to claim your discount.
4. You can access the app Home Screen without a subscription, but the rest of the content is locked. To finish subscribing after you log in, you will need to go to the app menu in the upper right hand corner, then select Account. From that page you’ll be able to click on the Subscribe button.
5. Here is a helpful article that discusses the new download page and how you can best use that.
6. For all other technical challenges, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will either respond or direct you to another team member if I’m unavailable (I do hope to get some elk hunting in sometime this month).
Hopefully this addresses some of your concerns with the app update and helps you understand the extent and the timing of it all. We are sorry for the headache that this update has caused many of you. Our goal is to provide a valuable elk calling tool that helps you find more success in the elk woods, and we hope to rebuild any trust, confidence or respect that has been called in to question by this app update. If you have further questions, comments or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to contact me (email@example.com). Best of luck to you in this and future elk seasons!
Note: the offline use issue for some Apple users has been resolved. Please update your app if it has not updated automatically.
1. To find the Downloads menu, click on the app menu in the upper right hand corner (three bars).
2. The options will slide out from the right side of the app, and you can then select Downloads.
3. Once on this page, you will see an itemized list of each video and audio file on the app.
4. You can select download all for both audio and video files or you can go through and download items individually. We recommend using download all for audio files, and then picking video files individually. We have a lot of new videos and some are pretty lengthy, so downloading all videos will take a long time and use up app storage space.
5. You will also see download options on each individual call, sequence or tactics page for associated video and audio files. That is an option as well!
There are a lot of other cool features on the updated app, including favoriting the sounds and sequences you want quick access to, a home page with a news feed for updates from the ElkNut team, a fresh new look to the app, and lots of new content. We sure hope you enjoy it! Please send any feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are excited about bringing you the next iteration of the ElkNut mobile app. The updated app is loaded with content and new features that are all designed to help you become a better elk caller and hunter!
If you have trouble subscribing to the new ElkNut app via the mobile app, here is what you can do:
1. Close the mobile app, open your web browser, and navigate to the following webpage: https://elknut.app
2. Login with the email and password you just created on the updated mobile app (or if you have not yet created one, you can create one on this webpage)
3. From the menu on the right, select “Account” and click on the “Subscribe w/ Stripe” option. Be sure to use the discount code ELKNUTOG to save 50% (or if you purchased the ElkNut app on the App Store within the last 90 days, claim your special code here.)
4. Once this has been completed, you can navigate back to the ElkNut mobile app, logout, then login.
5. You should now be subscribed and able to access all of the content on the new app.
If you have any technical difficulties, please email email@example.com, and we’ll get you squared away as soon as possible.
Here are three sequences that we highly encourage you to understand and implement this elk season! The below info provides some high points, and then be sure to dive in to the ElkNut app to further explore!
Cow Party Sequence!
This Sequence is utilized when elk are fairly quiet or actively rutting, so can be used when any elk are within earshot.
I prefer hearing a bugle nearest bedding areas as you know elk are there & will remain there for many hours. A distance of 250+yards or so is just fine, stay out of the actual bedding area & setup on perimeter, I’ve pulled elk in over a 1/2 mile away so being real close is not necessary, get the wind right & a GREAT Setup spot where any approaching Bulls/Cows cannot see source of calling without being in your effective range.
Once set up with the wind/cover right; you’ll want to imitate as many cow sounds as you can with two or more cow calls, especially if solo. You will imitate social, cow, calf, regathering mews & just a couple contact buzzes every two minutes. Getting Excited/Crazy with the calls is ok—- The ElkNut App Video will show this demonstration to a tee.
If multiple hunters with a couple cow calls each, you guys will sound like a chorus of cows as you cast your chatter left, right & behind you. (No Bugling) Change volume, pitch & tone as you make it sound realistic. Do this for 5 – 6 minutes, wind it up & wind it down. You can randomly toss out a cow call or two over the next 2 – 5 minutes letting other elk know you are still there & possibly bedding there.
Be mindful if multiple callers that they face each other 5-10 yards apart, this gives you a 360 view for those elk that show where you didn’t think they would! Sit & wait. Stay FOCUSED & DO NOT MOVE AROUND!!! Most Elk will come in silent & show up within 20 minutes but wait for 45min to 1 hour!
Super deadly tactic! (A big mistake would be to do this at a 100 yards or so from the elk, it’s just too close) Again, the ElkNut App Video portion shows how to call & setup!
The Breeding Sequence is a method every hunter should know & when to use it! We have called in countless elk with this method, most are bulls! That’s the cool thing with this sequence: it has a much higher ratio of drawing bulls in over Cows & Spikes! If you prefer cows & spikes use an excited version of Cold Calling or the Cow Party while rustling brush & ground cover with cow chatter being the dominant sounds used. This sequence can be deadly on both Quiet elk or Bugling elk, don’t be bashful, let those sounds show excitement. We’re not World Champion elk callers & you don’t need to be either but the sounds suggested are right on par with elk that are somewhat lethargic during pre-rut or when no cows are in estrus. These sounds flat attract elk on our OTC elk hunts!
However, the Breeding Sequence is not just a couple bugles tossed out here & there as a Cold Calling Sequence, it’s not running & gunning, it’s high energy calling & setups from one spot, the elk come to you. Bulls will bugle for various reasons, this sequence raises curiosity in other elk to come check out a breeding situation because of the high energy bull sounds. It’s also one of my favorite ways to draw in semi quiet to quiet bulls!
When a cow shows signs of coming into estrus the herd bull can become very vocal, at this time of courtship a bull tries to keep his hot cow close by whether in transition to bedding & feeding or in the feeding & bedding areas themselves, he does this through specific bull sounds such as lip bawls, glunking, pants & chuckling, this is another way the satellites in the area are alerted to these herds with hot cows. The cow/calves in a group can chatter it up as well so injecting a variety of cow sounds at varying volumes can add realism. They listen for this sound sequence in addition to checking trails for that testosterone driving smell cows emit. This bugling can be heard at long distances & it draws satellites their way. — This sequence is a Satellite killer! Nothing wrong with a satellite bull on OTC DIY elk hunts! There is a How To Video on the ElkNut App of this sequence!
Slow Play Sequence!
During the Pre-Rut phase bulls will start to gather cows; some of the mature bulls may not show interest in cows as much as they will by Sept 8th and on. At any rate we’ve found these bulls will go head over heels for the Slow Play Sequence. — So no matter if you have a herd bull bugling occasionally with no cows in estrus or a silent herd bull with cows that you may know is in a pocket of timber: Your go to tactic is the Slow Play once again. This tactic puts less aggressive herd bulls down Than Most Tactics Combined!
For most hunters hunting OTC Public Lands pressured elk is on the menu, we find ourselves confronted with quiet elk or elk that may bugle once or twice early morning or late evening, how can we hunt those elk? — We may know a general area where some of these elk feed/bed, etc. but there’s no bugling & little cow chatter. How do we lure a bull our way when confronted with these issues, this is a common scenario hunters face every year & possibly only a week to hunt them!
When calling is the answer, consider the Slow Play Sequence! It will take from 10 min to 30 min to run its course. The odds of calling the bull in you know is there is extremely high even without him bugling much! Choose a good tight setup where the bulls approach is in your range before he can see the source of your sequence. Having good cover & wind in your favor is a must!
This is for any bull you’re heard or seen & now they are in the cover!
You will imitate one cow & one bull, no more! I like to get about 200 yards or so, heck I’ve pulled bulls from a 1/2 mile away up & down mountains. — Start with 2-3 soft cow mews, wait 1-2 minutes & repeat with just a little more annoyance added. Wait 2 minutes & start raking a tree/branches/brush, now add light hoof stomps & rustle what’s ever on the ground such as rocks – sticks to add realism for 30 to 60 seconds. Stop raking/rustling & now add 2-3 voice pants & several glunks, give the pants through your bugle tube, this shows excitement over his present situation as he Displays for this cow, you will have the bulls attention now. Wait 15 seconds or so & add 2 soft mews & one single whiny mew, this mew will be much more pitchy & last 1-2 seconds longer than the soft mews, don’t over do the cow calling, no need, it’s the bulls actions that tells the story.— Start Displaying/Raking again for 30 – 60 seconds or so. Give several bull pants & 2-3 glunks with your voice or grunt tube again with low guttural growls with throat/voice inflection, all this is for the cow. Repeat this for 15-30 minutes with a short 2 minute pause in-between your sequence so you can listen intently for a bull slipping in silent!
You have set the scene you are Displaying for a cow coming into estrus! This kicks butt on those lethargic bed bugles from satellites & herd bulls with no hot cows. As the encounter comes to light you may need to get creative in your sounds if your target bull turns vocal. Listen & watch closely for a silent approach from the bull.
If a bull bugles during anytime of your setup note what he’s bugling, is it your cow call/raking-pants & is he cutting the distance. If he bugles your setup be ready to respond with a moderate challenge to stay away but keep raking & give those soft pants showing your excitement building for the cow, this will set the hook. After a few seconds & the real bulls anticipation growing give 3-4 Contact Buzzes, this is the cow inviting the real bull to come on over, in nearly every case he responds with a short come over here bugle to the cow (round-up bugle) it has less less intensity/emotion than a challenge bugle. When he calls the cow his way you now escalate your challenge bugle to a 7-8 in a 1-to 10 scale with 10 being the highest. Get ready with an arrow nocked. Showing this defensive action for the cow on your part tells him you definitely have a hot cow. When done right the bull comes in on a string, rare is the case will he come in down-wind or behind you!
This is how you can turn a nothing situation into an aggressive one & having a chance punching a tag! When doing this method or any method be the elk you are imitating, let them feel your feelings & emotion, make it real!
This Sequence is also in video form demonstrated in the woods on the ElkNut App.
I will add that the App also shares info on hunting Wallows, Water Sources, Treestand, Night Calling, How to hunt herd bulls, etc. There are 26 more Videos to show the sounds & setups we use to attract & put down elk every year & so much more!